Credit crisis making college loans harder to come by

College students are struggling more and more to get financial aid as they begin to feel the crunch of the credit crisis.

Private loans are becoming more popular with students, but the rates of those loans are variable and keep rising, financial experts say.

"We try not to ask our students to borrow that money unless it's absolutely needed because we really don't want them to be in that kind of debt situation," says Stephanie Fitzsimmons, associate director of financial aid at Brookdale Community College.

Fitzsimmons advises students to apply for federal loans first. She says those loans are easier to get and have a lower interest rate.

"The key is to start early before school actually starts," says 23-year-old Brenita Lockany, a mother and student.

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